Saturday, January 29, 2011

So You Want to be a Cheese Maker: Part Four

The Basics, Part Four: Mold Ripened Cheese and Other Dairy Products

I hope you have been enjoying this series. 

Mold ripened cheeses include Brie, Camembert, and Munster. For me, mold ripened cheeses are not a high priority to learn to make for several reasons. First, I’ve never developed a taste for them and second, the mold cultures and the linen wraps add a major cost difference over the other cheeses. There is increased complexity to these cheeses and I’m still working on getting the hard and soft cheeses right before moving on to the mold ripened cheeses.

Some mold ripened cheese have the mold added into the milk with the cultures and the mold works its way out to the surface of the cheese. Some are washed with a mold solution as it ages in the cave. Blue cheeses have the molds inserted into the cheese.

The Basics, Part Four: Other Dairy Products.
Yogurt, Kefir, sour cream, and buttermilk fall into the category of “other dairy products” as they are not cheeses per se but are often made by home cheese makers. For the most part these are simple products to make once you figure out how to make it the way you like it. The simple way to explain this process is like this: You heat the milk to a specific temperature: You add the cultures required: You go to bed: In the morning you have yogurt or sour cream or, or, or.
Time and temperature differences will produce differences in the taste  and texture of these products. Yogurt has several different cultures available and it is worth trying each of them at least twice to find the one you like the best. Typically, you can use store bought plain yogurt as a starter to make your own home made yogurt (see “Greek Style Yogurt” post from Sept. 10, 2010, or “Making Yogurt and yogurt cheese” 5/7/10). However, store bought sour cream is usually pasteurized before it leaves the plant and therefore will not work to make your home made product (Yes, I tried and failed before I found this information.).

So there you have it: A very brief look at cheese types.

I’m not trying to write a book about cheese making, there are already plenty on the market already, and I’m not experienced enough to believe that I have the knowledge to write a full book. The internet is also a wonderful source of information and recipes for making cheese. I’d just like to share my interest in cheese making with those interested and maybe help those of you just starting out and need a place to get started.

Next week I plan to write about what things I wish I knew when I first started making cheese.

George "the Cheesy Geek"

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